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A Journey Through Media: Heroes on Valentine’s Day


When you look at this picture you might start to think that this guy kind of looks familiar. He should be, if his arm tattoo is any indication, and especially if you saw the Disney movie he stars in. This is Prince Eric, from The Little Mermaid fame, drawn in the interpretation of the magnificently talented David Kawena. I found this picture, along with about two dozen or so others of similarly-drawn Disney male characters while idly scrolling through Tumblr. After squealing with excitement at the more mature renditions of these characters that are so close to my heart, I immediately went into research overdrive mode and looked up the artist’s portfolio on Deviantart and subsequently raided his Facebook album.

With Valentine’s Day looming (and me being swimmingly single) I got struck by a creative impulse (really, it felt more like a lightning bolt of excitement and inspiration) and made a self-declaration that I would make Valentines cards for a handful of my girlfriends featuring these drawings. I was sure that they would get a huge kick out of it as much as I did when I found them. In the cards, I wrote “Happy Valentine’s Day” in my best calligraphy surrounded by hearts and ribbons using red chalk (which I sealed using hairspray) plus this blurp:

To all the princesses out there,

If there’s one thing that Disney has taught me, it’s that all princesses are unique.
We each have our own story, and that one thing that makes each of us special.
And if you already knew that, consider this a reminder of how lovely you are anyway.

Much love,

So far the response has been very positive. And if you stumble on this little blip on the vastness of the internet and find yourself a little glum this V-Day, try going to the links I’ve provided here. I hope it gives you the smile that everyone deserves today.


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My First Video Mashup

I made this video as a project for my Media Production class. I meant for it to be the product of the skills I’ve learned with video editing so far, as well as an expression of my thought process and sense of humor. In other words, this is a fan video and was not at all intended to steal, undermine, or ignore the creative rights and genius of Walt Disney or George Lucas. I am and always will be a devoted fan.


The Answer to a Question I Didn’t Realize I Was Asking

This was a very insightful video that I found as one of the top results under the Science category of YouTube. It inspires me to research and hopefully make a video explaining the phenomenon of “gigil”–a way of experiencing and reacting to cuteness that is largely Filipino-exclusive (at least in the opinion of most Filipinos I know, myself included).

UPDATE: After doing a quick search for the English translation for “gigil” I came up with one that I think is a very good.

A trembling and/or gritting of teeth in response to a situation that overwhelms your self-control.

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A Journey Across Media: Discovering a New Hobby

Please forgive the dramatic (if not completely cheesy) title. I mean it quite literally, though. Take time, if you will, to read about it and think about the little journeys you have everyday as well.

It’s a lazy afternoon around the beginning of fall. I mindlessly wander out of my room and slump onto the futon in the living room and turn on the TV. As I scroll through the channel guide my mind automatically (almost mechanically) categorizes each channel and title into things I don’t really care for, wouldn’t mind watching, or want to watch as if my life depends on it. At some point my eyes catch The Great Mouse Detective, not only because it’s a familiar title but also because the block its assigned on the grid is particularly long compared to others; most of us know that means a program has still a ways to go so I gleefully move the highlight block to it and select.

Cover of "The Great Mouse Detective"

Cover of The Great Mouse Detective

Amidst the flood of childhood memories and reverie, a line of dialog suddenly yanks my head out of the clouds. Around the middle of the movie, when Olivia was captured and reunited with her father, he calls her something that I thought sounded like bern or behrn and this spikes my curiosity if only for a moment. This makes me run back into my room to grab my laptop and rush back outside so I could continue to enjoy the movie while I searched for what that word was.

At first I simply entered bern or berhn in the search box, which only generated some cooky results that I quickly decided were not relevant in the slightest. Next I tried adding The Great Mouse Detective to the box, and that got me some pages that were related to the movie but nothing about the word. So I decided to change the spelling of the word, since I was pretty sure the way I was spelling it was completely wrong anyway, to bayrn. This actually generated some results that included transcripts of the movie, and I found that the word was actually bairn.

Now that I had the exact word, I breathed easier and did the usual search. This generated something that I was kind of expecting–a Wikipedia page, which I promptly clicked on.I’m sure it’s safe to assume that anyone reading this has been on Wikipedia, and more often than not when searching for something the results usually include a Wikipedia page. Getting a wiki is so normal that most of us probably just click and skim through it to get a quick idea of what it is we searched for, so that’s exactly what I did. But it took a somewhat long time (longer than most would expect for a reasonably intelligent person) for me to figure out that the wiki I was reading was from http://sco.wikipedia.org–Scotland Wikipedia.

Bairn, it turns out, is a Scottish word that means child. But wait a sec, doesn’t Scotland speak English, albeit a heavily accented version of it? From what I understood, they do, but I could only assume from navigating through http://sco.wikipedia.org for a while that they write the same way they talk; and by that I mean, for example, writing the word dollar but then pronouncing it as “dollah” or “doller”, as opposed to pronouncing it “dollah” and also writing it as dollah much like the way children do when they first learn the connection between spoken and written words. The only reason I was not able to research the nature of Scottish language thoroughly was because when I started really looking at the wiki for bairn and tried reading it in my mind, I became too amused that I had to read it out loud. The more I read, the more an accent started to come into the way I talked as I read the article. Sadly, the bairn wiki was rather short so it didn’t give me much to go on but I quickly turned to the other links within the article (which Wikipedia is so good at doing in any language) and found myself reading more and more. It got to a point where I simply had to share this gem of a discovery with my friends, who at first thought that I was faking the accent while reading a Scottish Wiki article. But when they had a look for themselves they saw the truth right before their eyes, and pretty soon it became an inside joke for all of us.

To this day, our favorite Scottish wiki is the one for golf. Try searching it.

What I was doing was simple enough and admittedly silly; in my mind I was reading Scottish Wikipedia articles because I was trying to see how much of an accent I would get by just trying to pronounce the way the words were written in Scottish and not by forcing an accent. However, once I sat down and thought about it, I realized that I had gone from watching TV, searching the internet through my laptop, stumbling on some information that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have known otherwise, and relaying that information to those close to me to see if they would react to it the same way I did. It seems like such an obvious and trivial string of events, doesn’t it?

I like to think that it’s not, though. From TV, to the internet, to interpersonal interaction, each jump from one thing to the next was done for different reasons and generated different experiences. It happens everyday to everyone, but just because that’s the case doesn’t mean that it’s not worth taking a closer look at. Think about it. Take something unusual or interesting that you know, and try to trace back how you found out about it. Or try actively noticing and thinking about the things that you encounter day by day. If you make little notations about what you end up learning, finding out about, or just plain being informed about, you might be surprised by what you know, and why or how you know it.

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Sometimes, I Don’t Even Know Anymore

I don’t even use Yahoo as a homepage or even a search engine anymore, but with a few misguided clicks I wound up logging out of my Yahoo Mail account and getting directed to the Yahoo main page, a place I have long since abandoned since the breakout of the minimalist and simplistic Google homepage.

Now, I don’t know how the slideshow up the middle of the page works per se. I always thought that it was a collection of some news stories given in a compressed form so a person on the page would be able to see them quickly and be able to go through them just as quickly without getting redirected to the page that housed the story in its entirety.  I was caught off-guard, though, when the first story (or object for that matter) I see on the page is a picture of some girl with enlarged eyes and the word “anime” written in bold letters (because the word “anime” always catches my attention no matter what, whether written or spoken).

I admit, I brought  a bunch of assumptions to the table when considering how I processed something as simple as getting accidentally redirected to the Yahoo main page. First of all, I assumed that the middle block with the slideshow showed snippets of “news”, and by “news” was thinking about stuff that most of us would stereotypically characterize as important–natural disasters in other countries, political turmoil, the latest crime against humanity or one human in particular, social unrest, etc. In my mind, if you’re a story that’s in the center block of the Yahoo homepage, you must be important. After all, it’s the first thing that my eyes snapped to when I arrived on the page, and I imagine that it’s the same for most people. So then I beg (quite literally, I was screaming to the heavens in my mind) the question, how is the story of a girl who can make herself up to look like her eyes are some kind of genetic malfunction be something that could be considered news? Is it supposed to be important? And another thing, this story was the first one on the slideshow. Literally, it’s the top story; that is, the top of the pile of stories that’s automatically flipped through if you stay on the page long enough. What is it about this story that makes it more deserving of the number one spot over others? Granted, those other stories are about has-beens, ghosts, wigs, and Facebook…so why are these the highlighted stories again?

A couple of reasons come to mind, at least with the anime-eyed teen anyway. With all the stalker-ish monitoring of consumers’ habits and patterns online in order to generate a more personalized online advertising experience, each click and search I make gets recorded and from all that together with my past online activity, predictions can be made as to what I would find interesting, relevant, or important. Even though the computer I was on when I saw this story was one in my university’s computer lab, it’s a particular unit that I always use whenever I’m in that computer lab so I’ve done a fair amount of online activity on that computer. Or perhaps my assumptions of the function of that slideshow in the middle of the Yahoo main page were wrong and the slideshow block is meant for random fluff pieces that could be sort of interesting but not necessarily important. They might not even be connected to me as an Internet surfer at all.

So why the rant? Why should this little tidbit be important and any different than an online piece highlighting the fact that a Ukrainian teenage girl recorded putting makeup on herself in a particular way that made her eyes look super creepy?

To be honest, I cannot begin to speak for that girl and why she recorded that video of herself and put it online. I cannot speak for the editor person or whoever it is that is responsible for picking which stories go up and get highlighted at any given on the Yahoo main page. I can only speak for myself, and I can only hope that to whoever it is that actually hears my voice in this vast and (sometimes) scary ocean that is the InterWebs will take my thoughts with an open mind. And to be honest, those thoughts about this particular thing are not only unformed and erratic, but also innumerable. If any reader will allow (and by that I mean not get super pissed by the anti-climax) I will gather my thoughts and come back to this when I am more focused and directed in order to allow for discussion. After all, it’s a bit of a shame that nowadays we’re just so used to seeing something, having some sort of reaction to it, and then resetting and moving on.

But that’s a whole other thing entirely.


Ideas and Inspirations 1

I found this picture on Tumblr today and immediately felt the need to print out a bunch and personally hand them around or pin them up in my condo building or around the subdivision where my family lives in the suburbs. It is such a good idea, and something that I feel personally invested in already as an owner of a reactive dog. I’m thinking of starting a blog that documents my experiences with this project not only through the perspective of an owner of a reactive dog, but through the perspective of a person who could potentially come across a reactive dog. My goal would be that hopefully I can get at least the two communities I’ve lived in to embrace this project, promote awareness to the deeper levels of owning and/or dealing with a reactive dog, and lessen the negative connotations that people (especially those who are not dog owners) associate with reactive dogs–and on some occasions, with the dogs’ owners as well.

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Thoughts in Motion 1

Even though this is a project I made for my Media Production class, I think I’m starting to have a crush on The Man with an Invisible Head.

EDIT: The final version that I submitted for the class had the Man posed as my friend and I had named him Steve. I did this because I figured the class might find it too outlandish that I pictured myself married to a man with an invisible head. However, my thought process as I was going through the photos I was considering putting in my video was along these lines:

I wonder what it would be like to have someone with an invisible head in your life.
It would probably be quite hard.
What would be the most difficult relationship to have with a man with an invisible head be?
…I wonder what it would be like to be married to a man with an invisible head.

Hence the initial plot direction where the man with an invisible head is my husband.